“Why on earth would someone throw that all away?”
Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has lost his lead role in the Broadway show “Take me Out” according to a Tuesday report in the Daily Mail.
Smollett was all but assured of getting the role sources told the Mail, but the production opted to go in a different direction in the wake of the controversy surrounding the actor.
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The decision to drop Smollett from consideration for the part reportedly happened just as producers were getting set to announce his role.
“Everything was set to go and the producers were planning to announce that Jussie and Zachary Quinto were starring in the play last month,” a Broadway insider told the Daily Mail. “Everyone was so supportive after the attack and then suddenly, everything shifted.”
Another source close to the production team told the Daily Mail the crew was in a state of shock over Smollett’s actions.
“Here is a kid who is on a hit television show, has made a name for himself, and gets the chance of a lifetime,” the source said.
“He would have come off the sixth season of Empire and kicked off the next leg of his career with a role on Broadway,” the source continued. “And not just that, the lead role in one of the best plays of the century in his Broadway debut.”
“Why on earth would someone throw that all away?” the source asked.
While Smollett lost his role on “Empire” because of the hoax hate crime scandal, he appeared to be in the clear to resume his career when 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct against him were surprisingly dropped.
But the case has continued to dog Smollett even as he faces less legal trouble, with questions arising about the role Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx played in getting the charges against him dismissed.
Newly revealed text messages show Foxx meddled in the Smollett case, even after she claimed to have recused herself.
In dozens of messages, Foxx applied pressure to First Assistant Cook Country State’s Attorney Joe Magats to go easy on Smollett.
“Sooo … I am recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases … 16 counts on a class 4 [felony] becomes exhibit A,” Foxx told Magats in one text.
“Yes. I can see where that can be seen as excessive,” Magats replied.
“Pedophile with victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally,” Foxx said in another message. “Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”
“Agreed,” Magats replied.
On March 26, prosecutors announced they were not pursuing any of the charges against Smollett, even as Magats admitted: “I do not believe he is innocent.” In exchange, they said, the actor had done community service and agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond.
The city has also sued Smollett for the police’s overtime expenses.
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